Troy lives to be a teacher. Jessie knows teachers can’t be gay. These facts could rip them apart.
It’s the summer of 1978. Troy Larson is only one university-year away from living his dream as an elementary school teacher. In the meantime, he’s heading to his family’s annual month-long vacation at a Northern Minnesota lake resort. He’s looking forward to time with his best friend, Jessie, and finding out what has happened to him. This year was odd. They hardly spoke on the phone, and Jessie didn’t come home for the usual breaks. When they meet, it’s clear something’s off with Jessie. One day in, Troy secretly stumbles upon Jessie in an illicit act with another man. The incident triggers questions about Jessie’s sexuality and confusion about his own.
Jessie Smith is set to take over his father’s Minneapolis foundry when he graduates from a New York university next year. But the time in New York has taught him how to accept his sexuality, and his newfound freedom is not something he’s willing to give up. As the families meet for their vacation, it’s clear that Jessie is different. After the first day, Jessie sees an abrupt change in Troy, and it’s baffling. The changes in Troy cause a lifetime of repressed feelings to surface in him.
Troy’s pursuit of the truth brings him closer to Jessie than he ever thought he would want to be. He struggles to understand what’s going on between them and how his best friend is turning into more, way more. With the gay rights movement facing legal challenges from Save our Children, can Troy convince Jessie he’s willing to fight alongside him and face any consequences together?
There is no way to NOT know that this book is set in 1978. You are smacked in the face at every turn with nostalgia and descriptions. Shag carpet. Orange counters. Trans Am with t tops. The music. And even with all of that there was one thing that was mentioned that wouldn’t be seen for another 11 years. I don’t know why I am like this, I’m sorry.
So it was a decent story. Best friends, one more year of college yet, spending a month at the lake with their respective families. Except last year Jessie didn’t come home at all. So this was the first time he and Troy were seeing each other in two years. Because Jessie has a secret. And in 1978, you kept that secret at risk of losing everything. But Troy finds out. And starts to explore with Jessie. But again, 1978 isn’t very kind to the gay community. Especially in Minnesota.
I wanted MORE story and less descriptive nostalgia. It was just overdone and not necessary. And the truth or dare and spin the bottle games with siblings involved. Just, ew.
All of the “Wanna beer?” “Wanna get high?” were too much. CONSTANTLY. Jessie and Troy each were ridiculously jealous of the other looking or even mentioning another man or ex.
I was hoping the “historical” nostalgia would make me smile at memories (btw, I was only 7 in 1978) but it all got to be very eye rolling.
2.5 pieces of eye candy